The enhanced manufacturing capabilities are clearly necessary, Meyer commenting: “We are selling 50 percent more machines than two years ago, which is very positive but is really pushing us to the edge of our capability.”
Delivery times for a mid-sized machine now averages around two or three weeks, but in future Maplan aims to reduce the machine-building time down to around seven or eight days.
This is in-line with Maplan’s strategy is to provide quality machines more competitively in both existing and new markets and better exploit new opportunities as they come along.
Maplan’s main focus is on the market for 100-tonne and 650-tonne machines, which are showing good growth at the moment – helped by 'reshoring' trends in the US and Mexico’s burgeoning automotive sector.
“Many US companies have very much decided to pull back business to their country,” said Meyer. “People are really coming back from Asia and saying ‘I don’t really want to produce in Asia any more but want to move back to the US or Mexico.
Indeed, Meyer said: “Mexico is really moving right now, it is really unbelievable. You have to be with [customers] at the beginning. If they start up you are in there with a Maplan machine then it is easier to supply the next machine.”
In terms of its product range going forward, the CEO said Maplan aims to supply everything from the corner moulding machines up to 1000 tonne machines as a maximum.
“We had them before but were not competitive,” said Meyer, noting how Maplan has recently developed a new corner-moulding series with 20-tonne and 30 tonne machines and a 50-tonne version set to follow.
“This 30-50-tonne range is where we are trying to enter the market. We are doing well and have sold a lot of them already,” he said. “I would say that we have a market share of around 15 percent at the moment and I want to push in the direction of 20-30 percent.”
However, Maplan still has work to do in its drive to supply heavy-machines, those above 650 tonne, to the market.
“We are working on the development, said Meyer. “This will be something for the new factory where we have the capacity and the floorspace. We are going for the market but not at full speed yet.”